“We rolled great snowballs and made a snow fort”

Well unless you’ve been hibernating these past couple of weeks you will have noticed the deluge of snow that deposited itself across the country. As ever the news reporters were sent to the worst hit areas across the UK (all whilst telling us not to make unnecessary journeys, oh the irony!) to bring us either stories of travel chaos or of children and families enjoying the opportunity to miss school.

Alexander Carlton Greg donated Quarry Bank to the National Trust
Alexander Carlton Greg donated Quarry Bank to the National Trust in 1939

The Greg family were no different and one hundred years ago, in January 1913, Alexander Carlton Greg,  wrote of days spent playing in the snow at Norcliffe Hall, with his elder brothers, Arthur and Robert, (who I introduced to you in the post “While year by year November mists again”).

Alexander Carlton Greg Nature Book

Alec (as he called himself) recorded on January 13th 1913:

“Quite a heavy fall of snow. In the morning tobogganed…the toboggan run was from by the rose gardens to the wall and over the path. Arthur and Madge came as well. In the afternoon Bobby and Eddie and I went to the top garden…”

Alexander Carlton Greg Nature Book 002

The next day Alec recorded that he, Arthur and their friends “rolled great snowballs and made a snow fort” which Arthur completed later on “and put a bit of a roof on”. The group continued to toboggan with nearly dire consequences as “it’s all we could do to stop ourselves before we got to the wall”. You can picture them, brushing the snow off their coats, with pink noses and hands, collapsing in a heap of relieved laughter at their near miss.

Alexander Carlton Greg Nature Book 003

And here is a little treat for you all; when I unwrapped the notebook (just as excited as a kid at Christmas) I was immediately drawn to the first page, full of Alec’s doodles and couldn’t resist sharing with you! My guess is that they are cartoons of Alec’s family members including his father Ernest William Greg and his uncle Robert Alexander Greg, the owner of Quarry Bank Mill at that time… I wonder if they approved of the likeness?

Alexander Carlton Greg Nature Book 004

We hope you’ve all kept safe in the snow and that you’ve managed to have some lovely moments like the Greg boys and their friends.

Laura

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